After what seemed like years of relentless downgrading of our economic prospects — and in turn the government’s ability to fund its growing debt — the move by one of the world’s three leading ratings agencies, S&P Global Ratings, to leave our rating unchanged and keep the outlook stable is a relief.

For large parts of the past decade, their sentiment towards the SA story has been negative, but this was almost entirely self-inflicted. Confidence waned and the fiscus struggled under the weight of onerous funding obligations. Now, with an economy just beginning to rebound from 2020’s Covid-induced collapse, we cannot afford a slide even deeper into subinvestment grade. It would make the climb back to investment grade a more distant possibility...

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